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T-45C Crash Report

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T-45C Crash Report

Old 17th Apr 2018, 16:13
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Read his posts? Thanks Ken, hadnít thought of that.

Iíll leave you with the words of the Admiral

Bynum also said it was questionable that Ruth was even qualified to fly the T-45C or teach the low-level maneuvers, because there was no record heíd completed the requisite training in the T-45C
Given that, the JTO post was entirely reasonable but Iíll leave you guys to beat yourself to death with mnemonics and so on.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 16:37
  #22 (permalink)  
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I began by attacking the foolish statement (see the post by Just This Once) about an E-2C pilot not being qualified to be an IP in a T-45 (pure horsecrap)
I cannot cut and paste all of it, but following the link at #15, and reading the restatement of opinion 22, page 59, subpara i, it would seem to cast doubt on the foolishness of the statement.

...”As an E-2C pilot prior to joining CINTRA, Lt Ruth did not have prior experience in dynamic flight regimes......

”Throughtout the weekend Lt Ruth and his student had numerous excursions right to the edge of the aircraft’s performance envelope, with no real understanding of the danger.......”

Last edited by ORAC; 17th Apr 2018 at 17:37.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 17:32
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
I cant cut and paste it, but following the link at #15, and reading the statement of opinion 22, page 59, subpara i, it would seem to cast doubt the foolishness of the statement.
OK, I get to page 8, which gets to report page 59, which gets to opinion i. 22:
sorry, you are badly mistaken.
See above my point about the IUT syllabus. These three links provide: two training instructions for T-45 IP qualification and ONAV qualification, as well as the IUT syllabus that the IP has to complete to be QUALIFIED to fly a T-45 as an IP.

That an E2-C pilot did not fly low level missions in an F-18 is irrelevant to his qualification as an instructor in a T-45. CNATRA and the Wing has that training syllabus for just that purpose; to make sure IP's are qualified to instruct in each stage of training. If you don't pass that check ride you don't instruct in that stage. I repeat for all of the ignorant: any claim or assertion that this instructor was not qualified to fly or instruct in the T-45 are a load of bollocks. Whether he was a good, bad, or in between IP is another matter. The opinion offered (rather casually) that the E-2 community background informs this mishap is dubious, at best ... but I won't get into the reasons for that here.

The report is blatantly obvious in its conclusion:
1. This IP exceeded curriculum standards.
You, and a few others, are fishing for a red herring.

Look into the very same paragraph and read the following: "Many of the habit patterns and techniques he chose to use during low altitude flights were both violations of existing guidance and unsafe." That has bloody fork all to do with what aircraft he flew in the fleet.

The irritating part about this write up (for me)is that if these habits were known previous to the mishap, then why wasn't he called in for tea and biscuits with the Ops O or the CO, and had the LL quall pulled until he straightened up?
That's the issue with command climate that gets me smashing my head into the desk ... and it's not the first mishap endorsement that I've ever read that had something like this in it.

If you go to the end of the report, you can sum up this mishap with some alacrity:
2. IP demonstrated overconfidence in own abilities. (Gee, the first time this ever killed someone, right? Nope).

3. Contributing factor: it appears that peers and higher up the chain were aware, or partially aware of this and failed to correct it.
(And here I smash my head on the desk again).

@Airbubba: this appears to be an excerpt from the JAG investigation.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 17th Apr 2018 at 17:52.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 17:40
  #24 (permalink)  
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Lone_Wolf,

When I go to it the document in the reader starts at page 52 (of the document, not the reading tool), just scroll through the first 7 pages on view.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 18:05
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
Fact 4. I actually know something about how this works. PM me if you are interested in other facts.
Thanks for the offer of a PM but I am pretty clear on the report and the journalist's summary. My original quote above remains factual and having digested the linked report I should have probably written it in bold type.

The report states that:

"...as an E-2C pilot, the IP had no exposure to low altitude flying in previous tours, and very limited exposure in this tour. The syllabus used to train him and the oversight it proscribed did not properly prepare him to instruct in the low altitude environment."
Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
Given that they can't, it is really remarkable that you made that up.
Seems like they can and that the USN believes this contributed to the accident.

Your brashness is rather quaint but please excuse me if I don't join in.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 18:56
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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This extract from page 51 is particularly revealing with respect to IUTs:

We also need standardized instruction in CNATRA, and not all IPs bring the same level of experience in low-altitude fast jet operations, which is a very unforgiving regime of fight. The gradual expansion and de-standardization of the scope of the ONAV syllabus was extended to IPs whose background does not adequately prepare them to fly, let alone instruct, the expanded scope of a mission they are learning to perform for perhaps the first time in their career.

The safety net of verified and approved fight procedures does not exist in publications or lectures, or even at all for this aircraft. We rely on IUTs to request additional IUT sorties until they feel “comfortable” instructing ONAV missions. In this, case, it appears LT Ruth was essentially making up his own procedures and was clearly comfortable with aggressive maneuvers at low altitude.

I believe his comfort level was built upon overconfidence and a misperception that the level of knowledge, experience, and oversight provided to him as an ONAV instructor was adequate. It was not.

I don’t know if he would feel comfortable flying a T-45C at the edge of its envelope at low altitude, but I don’t believe he was given the tools, including oversight, to even recognize he was there. The system failed at every level: the cowboy attitude of the individual, the lack of oversight by the squadron and the Wing, and the lack of adequate training resources from CNATRA.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 19:44
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

Thank you, "Once".

I have to go with the disdain for the "cowboy" attitude, and we may never had known about the mishap flight or previous flights without recovering the HUD video and other recorders. I flew one of the first planes with the HUD and radar and flight data recorders. We recovered most, so if you lived you couldn't lie at the accident board. Have a sad one of a friend barely missing recovery and last thing you see is that the sage brush is now visible.

I really didn't get "scared' enuf to stop showboating, but had sound leadership and counsel. And that was that! Survived first combat tour and became an IP in that jet back stateside with only about 1500 total hours, 400 hours in type. Then another tour and another "sentence" to be an IP for next 700 hours in a new jet. Along the way, I saw many good management and leadership examples involving training and in combat. Our training went to good progressions of skill levels and increasing difficulty or envelope considerations as a result of that war. We also preached that the Pk of the rocks was 99.999% and being hit by a SAM or AAA was lots less than that.

I was surprised that the ridgecrossing maneuvers involved so many gees. I made many, and can't recall ever getting more than 2 or 3 gees except for initial pull. Hell, my best wingie and I would be coming home and roll in formation ( about 1000 feet line abreast) completely inverted and coast over a ridge, then roll back and press on. Staying at 500 feet was last thing we thot of. So being overly aggressive can get you in trouble quickly, like burying the nose and being 50 knots slower that you paraticed. And then you have to really know the envelope, which did not seem part of this IP's kit.

Oh well, RIP

Gums opines...

Last edited by gums; 17th Apr 2018 at 19:44. Reason: spelling
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 21:36
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Yes the 4g inverted does sound extreme and well beyond the way we flew the Hawk... although we did teach and fly 4g for all low level turns - something we donít do on the frontline.

The low-level cruise speed on the Goshawk seems a bit odd too. We cruise at 420kts at low level in the Hawk, keeping more energy and performance in hand. As well-matched 1v1 Hawk fights frequently end up with both players at base height / opposite sides at 300kts or so we are attuned to the rubbish performance at such low speeds. The comments suggest the 360+-30kts cruise is to mitigate bird strikes, but thanks to one regular poster on this forum the front screen was considerably strengthened on all Hawk derivatives many years ago. Flying in the 300kts range in rising terrain is not a great place to be. If you are trying to pull 4g at that speed the AoA will climb rather rapidly and the energy will drain away - a very poor place to be in a Hawk / Goshawk.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 21:47
  #29 (permalink)  
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So let me summarise my, non-pilot, understanding of what occurred.

1. The original training system did not cover tactical low level flying, or the limits of the aircraft performance envelope. According 2nd tour pilots, including from non-tactical tours, were considered as suitable instructors.

2. Somewhere along the line the syllabus was expanded to include elements of tactical flying. No review of instructor background or experience was included and IPs without the required skill levels were appointed and neither given the required training or supervision for their duties.

3. Perhaps due to the undefined nature of the additional tactical training required, and perhaps induced by those experienced pilots who were happy with the entire skill set, the system allowed the IPs to introduce even more elements beyond even those required - and nobody in the chain of command queried the requirement creep or the qualifications of their subordinates to safely perform it.

4. Junior IPs, encouraged by the ethos around them, and without adequate supervision, are now performing training both outside the syllabus and their own training, and perhaps ability, without realising the danger - and without knowing it.

5. The inevitable happened.

Two questions immediately arise. Firstly, were any flags waved by anyone in the training system prior to the accident. Secondly, was the failure caused by a fault in the training design/review system or someone overriding the system?

Was this a case not over a cocky IP killing his student, or a fatally flawed system killing both an IP unqualified for the tasks he was attempting to perform and his student? If so, where did, or does, the responsibility lie?
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 23:00
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
So let me summarise my, non-pilot, understanding of what occurred.
OK
1. The original training system did not cover tactical low level flying, or the limits of the aircraft performance envelope.
What are you talking about? Are you claiming that, in a syllabus that teaches students to fly and has ONAV as an element of flying that they don't teach that?

? Did you read the syllabus.
Did you read the NATOPS manual?
Did you read the FTI?
The NATOPS qual i nmodel covers performance limits of the aircraft. That's before you get trained and earn the qual in a given stage of training. (Instruments, deck landings, ACM, etc).
According 2nd tour pilots, including from non-tactical tours, were considered as suitable instructors.
What is a non tactical tour? Please explain your terms.

Here's a note for you: just as over 50% of the primary instructors (ab initio training, before one can get to the jet pipeline in the T-45) are fleet or FMF helicopter pilots. They teach fixed wing ab initio students.
Now, you need to understand something.
E-2C pilots have to go through the T-45 so that they can earn a deck landing qual.
You have to learn how to fly the T-45 before you get to fly the E-2C.
Do You Understand?
Any Of You?
Deal with it. That's reality. If I were to believe the foolishness in this thread, in the past 10-12 years every E-2C pilot who went to a T-45 squadron should have died in a flaming wreck on an ONAV hop. Funny old thing, though, That's Not What has Happened.

The T-2 Buckeye used to be the car qual bird for the E-2, but that stopped over a decade ago when the T-2 went away.
2. Somewhere along the line the syllabus was expanded to include elements of tactical flying.
No. Tactical flying has always been in the T-45 syllabus. (Sadly, a bit over a decade ago, Guns went away "to save money." )
No review of instructor background or experience was included and IPs without the required skill levels were appointed and neither given the required training or supervision for their duties.
Incorrect. No review of Instructor Background? Horse Apples. Where do you come up with this?
The required training is in the syllabus, but whether the standards of training were upheld is to me a question that has been answered in the negative. Here's a clue for you: there's been more than one E-2C pilot who has instructed in a T-45. Just sayin' ... and some of them do not pursue, for example, the ACM qual. I knew a few who did, but it's been some years ... huh, they didn't end up as smoking holes either. Fancy that.
3. Perhaps due to the undefined nature of the additional tactical training required
-- ONAV has been in the T-45 syllabus for as long as I can remember ... OK, thanks, ORAC, I am now reliving the hell that is a curriculum conference. Arrrgggghhhhh

How a wing selects and qualifies its IPs to teach that will include how many IP's are there and who qualifies in that stage as an IP. If the IP can't meet standards, the qual should not be earned, or it should be pulled if standards are not maintained. Failing to adhere to the syllabus/FTI constraints appears to be a core problem, which is informed by your next point ..
4. IPs... encouraged by the ethos around them, and without adequate supervision, are now performing training both outside the syllabus and their own training, and perhaps ability, without realising the danger - and without knowing it
. Possibly true, and it would not surprise me. The report you have access to lays some serious lumber on that core point. That some IP's strayed (as in more than this particular IP) looks to have been a norm that a blind eye was turned to, rather than the boot up the arse I mentioned previously. Stuff like that is why you have (are supposed to have) Stan departments, to rid herd on that.
5. The inevitable happened.
If enough people are, during dual hops, teaching and doing things beyond the curriculum limits, and in this glaring case beyond their own capability, the chances go up for it to end in tears.
Two questions immediately arise.
Firstly, were any flags waved by anyone in the training system prior to the accident.
Good question. If flags were raised, were they addressed and corrected? It appears not.
Secondly, was the failure caused by a fault in the training design/review system or someone overriding the system
?
What do you mean to 'someone overriding the system' ... not making sense here.
Breaking the rules, particularly at high speed and low altitude is called flat hatting. It's been forbidden for a long time. People (can) get their wings pulled for that. (I knew personally of five cases that I can remember with ease (in terms of I knew the pilot personally) in both the fleet and in the training command where flat hatting led to a loss of wings).
Was this a case not over a cocky IP killing his student, or a fatally flawed system killing both an IP for the tasks he was attempting to perform and his student?
You keep using that word
unqualified
It doesn't mean what you think it means. It's like me trying to describe neurosurgery, ya see ...

Let me spell this out for you. To get your NATOPS qual, and your instrument card, and to be assigned to fly instructional hops for VT-7 (in this case) you have to qualify in the aircraft. Secondly, to teach in each stage of training, you have to earn and maintain your qualification and currency in that stage.

That is what qualified means. What you flew in the fleet is somewhat irrelevant if you can show that you are able to teach the required maneuvers. (The VT squadrons used to be picky about who the ACM instructors were, for example. For good reason).

Let me illustrate the word qualified:
I was a qualified primary aerobatics instructor for about two years, and a standards instructor in that stage for about a year.
(I flew helicopters in the fleet, none of which were aerobatic aircraft). I was qualified to fly and teach the maneuvers that were in the syllabus. I was not qualified to do airshow flight demonstrations, eh? I was not qualified to do low level high energy maneuvers, nor to teach them.

Some fools in this thread would assert that, due to me having flown helicopters in the fleet, I was by default not qualified to teach aerobatics, which is in fact a wrong assertion.

What we were teaching to the students was nothing fancy:
loop, wingover, aeileron roll, half Cuban eight, barrel roll, simple inverted flight straight and level ... things like hammerheads and tail slides were strictly verboten. VFR, must have visual reference on the ground.

The system could not help me, for example, if I had gone out on my own and tried to do aerobatics in IFR conditions; if I had done aerobatics below the minimum 5500' ceiling, or had been teaching those maneuvers over an overcast layer, or tried to pull a lomcevok maneuver in that aircraft (it wasn't made for such things).

If this mishap IP was performing, and even worse teaching, maneuvers at altitudes and angles of attack not within the curriculum standards, the system can't help him unless it discovers that he's doing it, gets his attention, and then does one of two things:

1. Pulls the qual (temporary or permanent; in the former case ...)
2. Retrains to standards and "get his mind right."

That the command climate element, not bringing people back into the fold when they stray, was a significant contribution here seems to be a solid finding.

Oh, by the way, ONAV wasn't invented last year. It's been in the T-45 syllabus for something like 20 years. This is not to say that it never changed.
Training gets tweaked a lot. That's part of the system also.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 17th Apr 2018 at 23:32.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 23:40
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
"...as an E-2C pilot, the IP had no exposure to low altitude flying in previous tours, and very limited exposure in this tour.
What he flew in the fleet is a red herring.
As I noted to ORAC: the majority of the IPs in the USN who teach ab initio training, T-6 and the T-34 before that, were fleet or FMF helicopter pilots. Been true for about 25-30 years. According to you, it would appear that they should not be instructing fixed wing students.
Sorry, JTO, that's not reality.
The syllabus used to train him and the oversight it proscribed did not properly prepare him to instruct in the low altitude environment."
Apparently so. What he flew in the fleet hardly matters (actually doesn't matter) if that piece isn't working properly. If the Wing or CNATRA bugger up that piece, as a system, any IP

PS: to correct yet another error in that post of yours ... the oversight is not proscribed in the syllabus, though standards are.
Oversight is a command function, and it is laid out in the body of regulations, SOPs, Orders, and more that Training Wings operate under, to include the Standards instructions and regulations.
And OPNAVISNT 3710.7
And the T-45 NATOPS manual.
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Old 18th Apr 2018, 06:10
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
here's 81 pages of the command investigation report into the mishap with endorsements:

https://news.usni.org/2018/04/16/fin...-goshawk-crash
Thanks.

I found the original report almost impossible to read in any combination I tried due to the way it is embedded within another page. Here is the report on it's own which seems to improve matters.

CMD Investigation Into Trng Squadron SEVEN Class a Aircraft Mishap T 45C BUNO 165632 Vacinity of Tellico Plains TN 1OCT2017

There is a link to the "Original Document (PDF) Ľ" on that page however the one above renders better for me for reasons that are entirely beyond me.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/doc...EVEN-Class.pdf

One very fine thing about html is that it is often easy enough to untangle such instances without real technical understanding.

View Source
Search for txt immediately above the point of interest
"too late to eject safely"
Desired link is often right there below and can be copied out.
There may be an even easier way but I didn't find it in this case.

Last edited by jimjim1; 18th Apr 2018 at 06:32.
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Old 18th Apr 2018, 07:54
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Lonewolf, your tone and manner does not help in promoting your argument. Your repetitious apportioning of USN opinions that I have quoted, accurately and faithfully, to me personally is doing you no favours.

If you disagree with the USN report then feel free to offer your opinion as to why you differ. The USN has questioned the wisdom of placing an individual who had done zero tactical low-level flying outside of his initial training years earlier and undertook just 4 low level sorties in benign terrain during his IUT, becoming an IP in that role in more challenging terrain. Other USN commentators have agreed with that viewpoint and signed their name to it.

As an independent observer who has spent all of his career routinely operating at low level, in peace and war, I do share the concerns raised in the USN report. Like a number of others on this forum my career included both ME aircraft and FJ, with a small amount of rotary time in the test community. Switching roles offered me zero shortcuts when it came to training and the experience required, so to the UK posters above the USN practice does look odd, so you could consider cutting us a little slack.
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Old 18th Apr 2018, 15:58
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Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
Lonewolf, your tone and manner does not help in promoting your argument.
I am going to tell you this again: blaming this on the IP being an E-2 pilot is a red herring.

and undertook just 4 low level sorties in benign terrain during his IUT, becoming an IP in that role in more challenging terrain
Indeed a systemic issue: that has to do with IP training, not what aircraft he flew in the fleet. Your FJ bias is obvious in your posts. It is as present in the USN (within aviator culture) as it appears to be on your side of the pond.

Rather than blame the IP on his background, the core issue is: was the IUT implemented well, correctly, and was the follow up present? The report argues that the answers are not positive: there were holes a-plenty in that block of swiss cheese. The Navy assigns the IPs they have to where they go, and it's been long practice to assign E-2 pilots to T-45 squadrons, and for about 35 years we have had EA-6B pilots in VT squadrons as well: T-2, A-4, T-45. But wait, you will now protest, all they do is fly around beaming EW rays, they don't do low level attack in the fleet! (The occasional Italian cable car excepted) Gee, the funny old truth is that EA-6B pilots aren't constrained in effectiveness as IPs due to fleet platform either.

It is up to the training establishment to ensure that the IP meets standards before taking the first student event. The other problem of pilot overconfidence in own abilities is not confined to E-2 pilots. (Shoreham Air Show, not so long ago, for one example among hundreds).

I have a different ax to grind with the Navy over the T-45 syllabus in particular, which is that when you keep cutting the number of hours and events in a syllabus that was rationally designed through the ISD method, to replace the two phase T-2 to A-4 jet syllabus, and that had already had a "cut 10% because it's cheaper" (Rumsfeld era), and following that came the annual efforts to trim a hop here and a hop there, that attitude (which comes from a bit higher in the Nav than CNATRA, but is sometimes found in that HQ as well) begins to have an impact on the internal culture where "how little can we get away with doing" becomes far too common of a thought process. It takes someone to now and again stand up and raise a BS flag (which is not infrequently career suicide).
I note that the report fails to address that cultural problem, at all. This kind of systemic pressure gets hidden far too often, or is not addressed, and even gets edited out of formal reports during the drafting stages.

1. Please pardon me if I don't hold the report as a holy writ.

2. Blaming the pilot's fleet platform is quite simply bullshit.

Your experience as a Hawk pilot is respected. You know how the Hawk flies.
Your post
Remarkable that a USN pilot can join, train, fly orbits on the E-2C for his first 3-year tour, get posted as a fast jet instructor before wiping himself and his student out. Only now do they wonder if the instructor was even qualified on the T-45C.
is complete bullshit.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 18th Apr 2018 at 16:14.
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 07:53
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
As a famous Naval Aviator would say, "Jumpin' Jehosaphat!"
Grampaw Pettibone!

http://navalaviationnews.navylive.do...paw-pettibone/
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